- Image Source:- https://www.topspeed.com/cars/mazda/2001-mazda-rx7-ar1204.html

7 Reasons we should be grateful for the Mazda RX7

An RX7 40th Birthday Present...

3y ago

Anyone who's a petrolhead, a fan of Japanese sports cars or has seen 'The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift' has heard of the Mazda RX-7.

I admit your sightly demented aunt who saw the film in exchange for the 473rd family viewing of Leonardo and Kate's 'Titanic' MIGHT not recall the car - and even if she did, might not understand the magic...

But we do.

Yes, Japan has put out some fantastic sports cars, the Supra, the Celica, the Skyline, the 300ZX, the MR2, the MX5... But it's only put out ONE RX-7. A car with a unique engine, a unique sound, and a unique character. There aren't many cars which are as 'Fast and Furious' as the RX-7.

Here are seven things that make the rotary engined sports car so special.

1: The Sound

This is a car which sounds genuinely angry. The exhaust has an almost hypnotic rise and fall of crackly revviness, with a subtle overtone of burble and roar. (Yes, I know I sound like I'm describing a fine wine here.)

The thing is that exhaust note IS rare. The rotary engine never really caught on with most manufacturers. The engine is the thing that makes the RX-7 so iconic and one of its many pleasant characteristics is THAT sound!

2: The Looks

Possibly the most beautiful Japanese sports car... In the World! - Image Source: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_RX-7#/media/File:Mazda-rx7-3rd-generation01.jpg

Possibly the most beautiful Japanese sports car... In the World! - Image Source: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_RX-7#/media/File:Mazda-rx7-3rd-generation01.jpg

Okay, I accept the earlier RX-7s were a bit a wedgy. They looked a bit like something you'd stick under a door to keep it open. I know, I know, some people like retro 1970's and 1980's stuff, like orange and brown swirly pattern wallpaper, tracksuits and denim jackets... But for their time the earlier models were great looking cars.

However, I would argue that the FD, third generation RX-7 was something REALLY special. It's low, it's wide, it's made up of simple curves. The unfussy look is perfected by the clever, tactic of hiding the door handles in the window.

I would argue that the RX-7 is Japan's E-Type. Yes, I love the Supra for a host of different reasons, but on looks alone, I think the RX-7 is the most beautiful car ever to come from the land of the rising hi-fi.

3: The Fast and The Furious

Image Source: - https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/13278/lot/841/

Image Source: - https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/13278/lot/841/

For me there is no car that screams 'The Fast and the Furious' more than the RX-7. Who can forget that iconic first race where Vin Diesel Nitro boosts his way to victory against the protagonist?

Yes, yes, I know... Some people argue that Fast and the Furious is about friendship, rivalry and coming of age... Rubbish! We all know it's a cheap thrill and over-the-top masturbation over the modified car scene.

I recall the local modified car fans who used to cruise at Festival Park in Stoke-on-Trent during the nineties - but we never had anyone with anything quite as special as Vin Diesel's RX-7.

If we were lucky we'd see a brightly painted, souped-up Corsa, with the occupants sitting inside, bobbing their heads to ear-drum shattering music.

When their ears had finished bleeding they might step out to look at the induction kit their tracksuit wearing mate had fitted to his 1.1 Litre Fiat Punto for an extra 2 horse power...

Those weren't the days actually. The police eventually put a stop to the the Festival Park cruise. I'm not sure everyone was happy about it though, I think the McDonalds probably lost 70 per cent of their evening revenue when the cruisers were moved on.

But irrespective of how you feel about modified cars, cruising and illegal street racing - watching Vin Diesel wring every inch of power out of his fictitous RX-7 makes ANYONE suddenly want a modified car.

4: Drifting

The light weight, power and balanced weight distribution make the RX-7 a popular car for drifting. For good reason too! Its characteristics really lend it to being a drift car. Yes, some people drift MX5s, but they probably wish they were drifting Mazda RX-7s...

5: The Mazda 787b Le Mans Car

If it weren't for the RX-7, I don't think we'd have the 787b. What's special about the 787b? For one, I think it's one of the most beautiful Le Mans cars to line up on the grid. For a second it was actually successful.

The 787b: Image source:- http://www.autoblog.com/2015/02/21/goodwood-festival-of-speed-mazda-787b-video/

The 787b: Image source:- http://www.autoblog.com/2015/02/21/goodwood-festival-of-speed-mazda-787b-video/

The 787b won the 59th Le Mans 24 hours. Until recently it was the only Japanese car ever to win it. It is STILL the only rotary engined car to win the Le Mans 24 hour. Mazda's rotary engine was plagued with reports of being unreliable and prone to problems. But, if anyone starts repeating the rumour, you can always point out that Mazda won the world's best known and toughest endurance race with a rotary engined car. And a pretty amazing looking one at that.

The 787b was so good That FIA banned Mazda from taking part with a rotary engine. Though I'm not sure if the ban might have been recently lifted. All in all the 787b in an incredible car with an amazing story and it owes it's existence to the RX-7.

6: Motorsport

Thanks to its light weight and balanced handing, the RX-7 itself has enjoyed some real success in motorsport. It's won in touring cars, endurance racing and even placed 11th once in the World Rally Championship!

Image Source:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mazda_RX-7_Gr.B_001.JPG

Image Source:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mazda_RX-7_Gr.B_001.JPG

7: It isn't an RX-8

Now I appreciate this might be a contentious point. Some people love the RX-8. I can understand why they do, but that Mazda made it, is also quite sad. The RX-8 was two fingers up to the fans of the RX-7 and it signalled the end of a truly special car.

The RX8 - Image Source:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_RX-8

The RX8 - Image Source:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_RX-8

So what is the RX-8? Is it a sporty family car? A family friendly sports car? Something else? I CAN see the attraction: four decent seats, suicide doors for easy entry, and that epic rotary engine. But, it isn't a successor to the RX-7. The RX-8 is an alright looking car, but next to a latest generation RX-7, I'll be frank - it's ugly. It's too big, too high, too long. It's no more a successor to the RX-7 than the Ford Cougar was to the Ford Capri.

Thankfully, Mazda is reputedly working on a TRUE successor to the RX-7: a simple, lightweight, rotary engined sports car. I hope the rumours are true and the finished product is epic. Because a rebirth of the amazing RX-7 would be its ultimate 40th Birthday Present.

Martyn Stanley

#Mazda #RX7 #MazdaRX7 #SmallTribesRule #Humour #Story

So am I alone in admiring the RX7? Which is YOUR favourite Japanese Sports Car?

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Comments (43)

  • Ah, I'm so glad you mentioned the looks. Whenever I see one, I like to intellectually satisfy myself with the knowledge it's rotary. I know, though, that's not what makes me love it.

      3 years ago
    • I honestly think the FD is the closest Japan has come to putting out an E-Type.

        3 years ago
  • Chances are I’ll get flamed for saying this but Fast & Furious is the worst thing that happened to the RX-7; one of the best sports cars ever to come out of Japan is being butchered left right and centre with crappy engine mods, ridiculous exhaust systems and stupid rocket bunny shit. 2.5 years ago I was on the market for a FD but could not find a single stock car within a 150 mile radius from my address. I’ve since spotted a couple unmolested but were too expensive and I have since moved on.

    If you can find a stock RX-7, especially FD, grab it and hold on to it. I reckon it might worth a pretty penny in a few years.

      3 years ago
    • It’s the same story with Supras ! I’m all for people’s right to mod, but it is sad when you can’t find a stock one any more. I was after a low mileage, stock XR2i a couple of decades ago. Couldn’t find ONE! ☹️

        3 years ago
  • Best looking Japanese car of all time?

      3 years ago
  • I've had an RX8 for a couple of years. It was great and terrible at the same time. Kept breaking down and fuel consumption was atrocious. But I still miss it <3

      3 years ago
    • I really wanted one, but I was never in the right situation for one reason or another. They were a lot more practical than the 7. The tax was stupidly expensive for the performance too !

        3 years ago
    • I wouldn't know about the RX7, having never owned one, but I can absolutely guarantee that the RX8 is not a cheap car to own. It may have a cheap buying price but you'll have to deal with comically expensive running costs. :/

        3 years ago
  • Fuck the spirit R is the best one for sure

      3 years ago